Improve UX in Your News App with Stories

Improve UX in Your News App with Stories

To stay updated during the times of the fast-changing covid-19 pandemic, mobile users are spending copious amounts of time within news apps. According to the Sensor Tower report, news category downloads have grown by 86.7% (comparing the 30 days following countries’ 200th confirmed case of COVID-19 vs. the prior 30. Data is aggregated for China, South Korea, Italy, Japan, France, Germany, Spain, the U.S., and Great Britain). Some news apps, such as News Break, SmartNews, and Washington Post have performed well during the pandemic. 


Daily Active User (DAU) numbers surged along with downloads in accordance with consumer appetite for news. Apart from providing credible news, providing a seamless user experience (UX) is essential for news app user engagement. And UX is simply about improving the experience of users during their time using your news app.

UX During Onboarding

UX managers should keep in mind that almost 1 of every 4 users doesn’t come back to an app after their first use. First impressions last. Complex and long onboarding sessions cause users to slip away. 

By making your app with more familiar features and elements, you can decrease the onboarding time. As well as familiar icons, symbols, buttons, or colors, you can also use features and formats that users are already familiar with from other apps. One of the best examples of these formats is stories. You can use stories to save time in educating users and also to educate people during the onboarding stage. 

Better UX with Ads

Another common user experience complaint. Niesen Norman Group reported an ad dislike after conducting a survey. Although Native ads placed in users’ news feed creates a relatively better experience than pop-up ads, they visually take up too much valuable screen real estate.  

Adding native ads among stories is very convenient to sprinkle ads in your content with a smooth flow.

Improve UX in Your News App with Stories ad placements
Image: Medium, An example of different ad placements

Content Consumption Issues

No one wants to miss important news just because their news feed trails off into the millions. Users need a better experience with the organization of news whilst still having access to a wide-array of content. Having an organized short, summarized content is a must for news apps.


Stories are helpful when it comes to adding short, summary-like news that also enables users to grasp the topic easily. You can use stories to place journalistic storytelling or live news to create a more visually appealing experience. Essentially, the story format eases the news consumption pain-points of users.

Improve UX in Your News App with Stories AJPlus example
AJPlus Instagram account, using stories to captivate their audience

Creating a Two-way Dialogue

Having a two-way dialogue is important for news apps as much as for any other app. Two-way dialogue naturally requires at the basic level, some form of engagement of the user. BBC’s “What has President Trump said about your country?” content where users can select their countries pushed them to interact with the content.

Creating interactive content to develop communication without diminishing the user experience might be challenging. However, with an already educated user base are familiar with stories and how to interact via them, it is not a nightmare. Allowing users to engage with the app and socialize with other users by comments or other reactions not only increases the value they are taking from your app but also provides you with relevant data coming straight from your users. A good way to use this data is making your app more customized which eventually leads to a better user experience.

Polls in Instagram Stories Improve UX in Your News App with Stories
Image: Animoto

Competition doesn’t seem to be lessing. Standing out among your news app competitor and keeping the existing user base happy places a heavy burden on UX managers. You may need improvements with the onboarding process, ad placement,, organization of content or creating two-way communication with your user base. However,  fear not! Adopting the existing technologies to bring a familiar, comfortable and also a creative experience is possible with stories. Check out how your news app can profit Storyly.

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